Nevada Regulator Approves Underage Participants in Fundraising Lotteries

  • Gaming Commission restricting underage youths from entering lotteries with non-cash prizes
  • Organizations worried broad interpretation of rules would stop youth selling fundraising tickets 
  • National Center for Responsible Gaming not opposed to 18 age limit, advised against lowering it
yellow fundraising ticket roll
The Nevada Gaming Commission has approved underage youth participation in fundraising lotteries as long as no cash prizes are involved. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Under-18s in fundraising lotteries

The Nevada Gaming Commission has agreed to allow youths under the age of 18 to take part in fundraising lotteries, provided there are no cash prizes awarded to winners.

The vote to approve underage participation was unanimous

Commissioners decided to adopt amendments to regulations regarding charitable lotteries and games based on legislation passed in May. The vote to approve underage participation was unanimous.

A controversial issue

Allowing underage individuals to take part in lottery games was a controversial decision. During the initial drafting process, several organizations expressed concern that the regulation wording used would harm their youth conservation efforts.

The regulation’s initial wording prohibited individuals under the age of 18 from entering, purchasing tickets for entry, or collecting winnings when participating in a charitable lottery.

Groups like Ducks Unlimited, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Nevada Bighorns Unlimited came forward. They feared a broad interpretation of the rules would stop young people from selling tickets for fundraising and restrict them from taking part in programs created by sponsoring organizations.

The organizations and the regulator reached a compromise, with the Nevada Gaming Commission deciding to only prohibit young people from taking part in charitable lottery events which advertised a cash prize.

Regulation details

The new regulations state that organizations must register to run a lottery. Information is also provided on how they should limit sales in Nevada and verify the non-participation of individuals who are 18 and under. Anyone under 21 will not be allowed to take part in charitable games events that feature poker, blackjack, or bingo games.

Representatives from the National Center for Responsible Gaming did not oppose the establishment of a minimum age limit for charitable lotteries. However, they advised the Nevada Gaming Commission to refrain from going lower than 18 over concerns of problem gambling.